TBI – Survivors, Caregivers, Family, and Friends

Outrageous: A Tackle Football League for Young Girls

by

David Figurski

presented by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

So Whaddya Think Brain th-4There is growing public concern, backed by scientific evidence, about the violence of football and the possibility of a life-altering brain injury, especially in children. Former professional players have spoken out about the risks inherent to the game of football. Evidence now exists that a concussion can be dangerous (1, 2), especially to the developing brain of a young player. Even the repetitive sub-concussive hits can be harmful. Legendary quarterback Joe Namath, who had a recent scare with his cognitive functioning, said that if he knew then what is known now, he wouldn’t have played. A talented rookie linebacker on the San Francisco 49ers has quit the game after one season, saying “…I don’t want to have any neurological diseases or die younger than I would otherwise.”

Utah organizers are excited to establish the first tackle football league for girls. A video of a nine-year-old girl, Sam Gordon – now twelve, playing tackle football in a boys’ league confirms that she is talented and shows what many of us have always believed – that girls can be as skilled as boys. The Utah Girls Tackle Football League has teams of fifth- and sixth-grade girls. To enhance its visibility, the league advertises Sam Gordon as a marquee player.

This is dangerous and a step in the wrong direction. At a time when some adults are calling for the abolishment of children’s football leagues, Utah has established a tackle football league for girls. It’s one thing when players are old enough to understand the risks and decide to play, but it’s another thing when children trust that their parents will protect them. I’m sure that every parent who allows a child to play football is well-meaning, but those parents are likely to be unaware of the risks. We have a lot of work to do to spread awareness about football’s risk of brain injury.

There is no doubt that the games in this new league will be exciting. But, how many girls will have their lives dramatically changed by a brain injury?

So, Whaddya Think?

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Comments on: "So, Whaddya Think? . . . . . . . . Tackle Football League for Young Girls – REALLY, Utah! What Are You Thinking?" (10)

  1. Barbara Zirilli-Lonergan said:

    I’ve never been more terrified of brain injuries than I am now. September 30, 2014 my dad fell from a ladder in his garage and suffered a severe brain trauma. He was I’m a vegetative and/or locked in state for 3 months before he finally passed. During those 3 months I learned more about the brain and brain injuries then I ever wanted to know. Now every time I see someone hit their head I cringe. It terrifies me watching some sports and how brutal they can be. Last night watching a soccer game I saw a guy take a hit to his head and hit the field and all I could think about was his brain bouncing off his skull. So scary. So quickly our lives can be forever changed.

    Like

    • I agree, Barbara. I don’t understand why/how adults cannot see the danger of intense contact sports and place our trusting youngsters in the possible position of being harmed forever.

      I am so sorry to hear of your father’s accident and passing.

      Donna O’Donnell Figurski
      survivingtraumaticbraininjury.com
      donnaodonnellfigurski.wordpress.com

      Like

  2. Pat Smith said:

    Have not heard about Utah promoting tackle football for girls. I’m not in favor of any sport where girls bash each other about (including boxing & wrestling).

    Like

    • Pat, thanks for reading my blog and a bigger thanks for responding to this very “HOT” topic.
      I agree, Pat. I’m not in favor of ANY sport that includes bashing of any gender.
      Brain injury is NO fun. Surely we do not want to put our youngsters in its possible way. Both of my kids played soccer. I was a coach for 6- and 7-year-olds. I don’t think I would do it now knowing what I now know about brain injury. Just sayin’!

      Donna O’Donnell Figurski
      survivingtraumaticbraininjury.com
      donnaodonnellfigurski.wordpress.com

      Like

  3. My father Luigi Barrella, don’t remember the exact date he was injured but it was months after I was born 1953. He was in a coma for three months after which he passed away. Actually I hadn’t remembered him for years. Post my college years I underwent a procedure that backfired and took my memory. That was 35 years ago. Been disabled ever since and fighting every day with symptoms were grinded into my brain, that I need to keep on an index card. None of the doctors I have seen have any clue about them. I was the lucky recipient of cognitive remediation classes which outlined my injuries 12 years later. Gave them veracity. IT’S A TERRIBLE LONELY WORLD. TODAY, right here in New York City, only in the Rusk…and only if a person is able to undergo the procedures of cognitive remediation can they get the full awareness of their injuries. If they never get that treatment, they are simply never going to know. Why in the heck would you want to have a young child, or even an adult, become head injured, and have their lives be disheveled forever. Most likely do to the inappropriate assistance they would never be able to understand their injuries?…Maybe you let “these” parents watch tapes of the cognitive remediation classes in the Rusk and they might change their tune. Or better yet, let them travel Manhattan in the evenings by car, and see all those bums on the street. SOME of those bums are byproducts of head injuries which were never assisted because of the natural blinders that we carry…and you should see how they are treated. WAKE UP….take off your blinders…OR simply do what I said to pry them off…John…aka. Nino…PS. There is a good way to get rid of “ignorance”…(lack of knowledge, information, or education)…by getting knowledge, education, information…I have given you very realistic one. I think your kids are worth it!!!! What do you think?

    Like

    • John, thanks for reading my blog and a bigger thanks for responding to this very “HOT” topic.
      John, I think only those of us who belong to the world of brain injury, either by being a survivor or by being a caregiver, can actually fully understand the consequences of a brain injury. Of course, no one thinks it can happen to him or her. Then there are those who are ignorant, in the sense that they have no idea the damage a brain injury can cause. Truthfully, I knew nothing of brain injury until it stopped on my doorstep and came to stay.
      I understand why parents allow, even encourage, their children to become a part of an athletic team. It’s fun. It provides social community. It’s something, as a society, we have been a part of forever. But with a little knowledge of the repercussions and the damage that can occur because of a brain injury sustained by “rough” sports, I have certainly changed my priorities. I can only hope that by making folks more aware of the dangers of contact sports, I can help to save one child from living a life with brain injury.

      Donna O’Donnell Figurski
      survivingtraumaticbraininjury.com
      donnaodonnellfigurski.wordpress.com

      Like

  4. Pat Smith said:

    Dr. Oz has a magazine called, “The Good Life.” The June issue has an article written by Gretchen Voss entitled, “Women and Concussions” that talks about, among other aspects of this, Kids, Sports and Head Injuries.” The magazine is available in the supermarket and sells for $3.99.

    Like

  5. Pat Smith said:

    Sorry for the typo – couldn’t correct it after the comment was posted.

    Like

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